Tomorrowland teams up with police to keep the festival drug free

Tomorrowland teams up with police to keep the festival drug free
Credit: Belga

Tomorrowland is joining forces with local law enforcement and Antwerp justice officials to intensify the fight against dangerous drugs at the event, to be held in July.

Illustrating the plan in the presence of Justice Minister Paul Van Tigchelt, representatives of the Rupel police region said that on-site testing of confiscated substances is to be introduced. The aim is to determine the potential threat to attendees, and alert festival-goers and staff accordingly.

A system is already in place to immediately process fines imposed on drug users and to bring dealers to court, a measure introduced at the last edition.

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However, the main innovation for the 2024 edition of the festival, to be held in Boom, 16 km south of Antwerp, from 19 to 21 July and from 26 to 28 July, is the presence of the National Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology (INCC).

The INCC will be on-site to examine seized substances, issue advisories to visitors and/or employees, and potentially issue app-based push notifications, if the drugs are harmful.

To ensure the efficiency of this operation, the festival's organisers and police have made specific arrangements. These include enhanced on-site and backstage police presence, maximising opportunities to apprehend possible drug dealers and users.

This move follows the distress caused by the allegations that followed the drug-related deaths of a festival-goer and a staff member last year.

The festival's organisers stressed their unwavering commitment to work with the authorities and do everything possible to ban drugs.

“Drugs are exceedingly harmful to health and can be fatal," Van Tigchelt said. "It rests on the shoulders of the justice system, police, and festival organisers to ensure a responsible and safe environment for all festival-goers.”

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